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Between Gazes Camelia Elias. aims and focus  look at:  how gender is a performative and constitutive act within cultural frameworks  issues of representation,

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Presentation on theme: "Between Gazes Camelia Elias. aims and focus  look at:  how gender is a performative and constitutive act within cultural frameworks  issues of representation,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Between Gazes Camelia Elias

2 aims and focus  look at:  how gender is a performative and constitutive act within cultural frameworks  issues of representation, visual pleasure, spectatorship and subjectivity  feminist, queers and ‘other’s own aims:  to end male, heterosexual, and white male/female domination respectively

3 central theoretical questions  what constitutes the category of woman?  on what basis is it established that the heterosexual world is more ‘natural’ than the homosexual world?  what legitimizes the marginalization of transgender behavior?  why does transgressing boundaries (both literally and figuratively) end in punishment?

4 central analytical questions  how are women, queer, and the powerless rest represented and constructed in mainstream/art/cult films?  what is the function and consequence of these representations in the social and cultural context?  what kind of subject position does film construe and represent for the viewer?

5 genders  gender identity (after ’45)  gender roles (60s)  gender-gap  gender-biased  gender-specific  gender-bender (80s)  gender-blender  gender studies

6 gender differentiations  male  female  ~~~~  between male and female  beyond male and female  both male and female  neither male nor female

7 sex vs. gender discourse  sex is filtered through the culturally dominant codes that regulate the behavior acceptable in men and women  these codes police the social relations of sexuality  the codes determine the social division between sexes  men and women are placed in mutually exclusive categories (Gayle Rubin)  “sex is sex but what counts as sex is… culturally determined and obtained” (Rubin)

8 Judith Butler  a man is not what one is but something one does, a condition one enacts  your gender is created by your acts  you become a man or a woman by repeated acts  repeated acts depend on social convention

9 Butler’s claims  sexual identities are a function of representations  representations preexist and define, as well as complicate and disrupt, sexual identities  gender is not a stable identity, but an identity constituted in time through stylized repetition of acts  the body is a set of possibilities

10 The gaze  the gaze:  is a mode of viewing reflecting a gendered code of desire  the look:  a perceptual mode open to all while the gaze  “to gaze implies more than to look at - it signifies a psychological relationship of power, in which the gazer is superior to the object of the gaze” (Jonathan Schroeder 1998, 208).

11 Gaze typology  the spectator’s gaze: the gaze of the viewer at an image of a person (or animal, or object) in the text;  the intra-diegetic gaze: a gaze of one depicted person at another within the world of the text  the direct [or extra-diegetic] address to the viewer: the gaze of a person (or quasi-human being) depicted in the text looking ‘out of the frame’  the look of the camera - the way that the camera itself appears to look at the people depicted; less metaphorically, the gaze of the film-maker or photographer

12 gaze typology 2  the gaze of a bystander - outside the world of the text  the text may be erotic (Willemen 1992)  the averted gaze - a depicted person’s noticeable avoidance of the gaze of another  this may involve looking up, looking down or looking away (Dyer 1982)  the gaze of an audience within the text  shots of an audience watching those performing in the 'text within a text'  the editorial gaze - 'the whole institutional process by which some portion of the photographer's gaze is chosen for use and emphasis' (Lutz & Collins 1994, 368)

13 Gaze typology in figurative painting  You, looking at the painting,  figures in the painting who look out at you,  figures in the painting who look at one another, and  figures in the painting who look at objects or stare off into space or have their eyes closed. In addition there is often  the museum guard, who may be looking at the back of your head, and  the other people in the gallery, who may be looking at you or at the painting. There are imaginary observers, too:  the artist, who was once looking at this painting,  the models for the figures in the painting, who may once have seen themselves there, and  all the other people who have seen the painting - the buyers, the museum officials, and so forth. And finally, there are also  people who have never seen the painting: they may know it only from reproductions... or from descriptions. (J. Elkin, 1996: 38-39)

14  Where the female model typically averts her eyes, expressing modesty, patience and a lack of interest in anything else, the male model looks either off or up. In the case of the former, his look suggests an interest in something else that the viewer cannot see - it certainly doesn’t suggest any interest in the viewer. Indeed, it barely acknowledges the viewer, whereas the woman’s averted eyes do just that - they are averted from the viewer.  In the cases where the model is looking up, this always suggests a spirituality...: he might be there for his face and body to be gazed at, but his mind is on higher things, and it is this upward striving that is most supposed to please... It may be, as is often said, that male pin- ups more often than not do not look at the viewer, but it is by no means the case that they never do. When they do, what is crucial is the kind of look that it is, something very often determined by the set of the mouth that accompanies it. When the female pin-up returns the viewer’s gaze, it is usually some kind of smile, inviting. The male pin-up, even at his most benign, still stares at the viewer... Since Freud, it is common to describe such a look as ‘castrating’ or ‘penetrating’... (Dyer 1992a, 104-9)

15 The 50s pin-ups

16 The gaze in film  men as subjects identifying with agents who drive the film's narrative forward  women as objects for masculine desire and fetishistic gazing (Mulvey, 1975)

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